Barge displaying advertisements sets sail in Volusia County

60-foot barge with a 40-foot LED displays

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A barge is turning heads on the beaches of Volusia County. It’s a 60-foot barge with a 40-foot LED display showing advertisements and public service announcements.

County leaders just approved it to sail this week.

“We go from New Smyrna Beach to Ormond Beach and back down,” Tim Pulnik said.

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Pulnik is the Marketing Director for Shark Bite Media, the company behind the floating digital billboard. He said there’s always a captain and another staff member on board.

“We wanted to be more than just an advertising boat. We wanted to be a vessel for local companies to come back especially after this pandemic,” he said.

That was the argument the company made to county council to let them move in closer to shore. Now, they’re 750 feet from land instead of 1,500. Last month, county council voted six to one to allow it.

The member voting no said it blocks ocean views. Some residents agree.

“The first time I saw it, it was gross,” said Jerry from Ormond Beach. “It’s way too much. But I understand why they’re doing it.”

Pulnik said it’s promoting small, local businesses and does community outreach, too. They’re going to also start letting people use it as a message board.

“It’s very cost-effective and it’s for people that want to say happy birthday, happy anniversary,” Pulnik said. “We also provide PSAs. We help out the beach patrol if needed.”

County council is allowing it to sail right now through December. At that point, they will reassess and decide its future.

About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.